Lisa Oppenheim: Spine

May 24, 2018 - Aug 26, 2018


For the exhibition Spine, Lisa Oppenheim repurposed photographs from Lewis Hine, a photojournalist from the early 20th century. Hine’s images dwell on the conditions of immigrant and child labor in American mills and factories from that time.

Oppenheim appropriated specific works by Hine from the Library of Congress’ photographic archive that depict adolescent textile workers—primarily young women with physically misshapen backs. Hine originally documented these figures to illustrate the damaging effects of textile manufacturing on the spine. Oppenheim printed the images life-sized and bisected each image at the vertical points of the figure’s spine, effectively collapsing the subject and the photograph together.